By Eric Moore, Managing Editor
Veteran coaches are changing jobs. Sandy Pugh left Southern University after 18 seasons to become head women's basketball coach at fellow Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) menber Prairie View A&M.
Now, in another blockbuster move, Fred Watson is leaving Benedict after 16 years to take over the men's head coaching job at Miles College.
Both coaches had sterling records prior to their departure. Pugh was a four-time SWAC coach of the year. Watson was a five-time coach of the year in the Southern Intercollegiate Athlatic Conference (SIAC) and is now taking his talents to Fairfield, Alabama.
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“This is a great opportunity for myself and my family,” Watson said. “We’re excited to join the Miles College family and look forward to embracing the Fairfield and Birmingham communities. Having been in the SIAC for the past 16 years, I’ve been impressed by the tremendous support this program has received. We’re excited for what this job has the potential to become and we’re up to the challenge, not to just develop great athletes but to follow the recipe of the 14th President of Miles College Dr. George T. French, Jr, which is to develop great scholars that will one day become productive citizens.”
Newly named athletics director Reginald Ruffin has pulled off a major move with the hiring of Watson.
“With Coach Watson, we not only found a proven recruiter and winner, but we also found someone with an unwavering commitment to engaging and motivating communities through basketball," said Ruffin . His commitment to developing young men into great athletes is astounding, most importantly, developing great scholars is more impressive. We can’t wait for the Miles College family to meet and embrace our new coach with the Golden Bear Pride.”
Watson succeeds Leon Douglas who was let go last spring following a 27-57 overall record at Miles.